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Yesterday as I was preparing to fly out of Baltimore airport, I wandered past a coffee shop I hadn’t seen before: Green Beans Coffee Co. Since I imagined I must still be caffeine-deprived after two gigantic seder meals, delicious holiday lunches, and visiting with warm and generous people, I wanted just a simple cup of hot and tasty coffee.
As I approached the kiosk, I noticed that the person in front of me was filling out a form. I assumed she might be completing a job application.
When she finished writing on the form that was on a clipboard, I could see the cover sheet:
Valued Guests: Could you kindly fill out the Covid-19 Contact Tracing Sheet, Please.
Note that it wasn’t really a request or a question: it was a demand.
To be sure I was understanding their “request,” I asked the one person behind the counter whether I could still buy coffee if I didn’t complete the list.
She said no.
By the way, the first column asked for the “guests” name, the second column asked for phone number, and I couldn’t see the third. It could have been asking for an email address. Or perhaps it asked the time of day.
When she said I essentially had to sign it, I said that information is none of your business and walked away.
Just down the concourse was a Cinnabon that sold coffee. (And no, I didn’t buy any of their goodies.) There was no tracing sheet to complete and the coffee was half the price. I bought one and returned to Green Beans to capture a photo of the cover sheet. Afterward, I regretted not telling the other people in line that they could buy coffee at half the price at Cinnabon’s. I didn’t think of saying anything until long after I was home.
* * * * *
I am so tired of companies and organizations who think they can invade our private lives and there’s nothing wrong with it. After all, it’s for a greater cause. Right?
I plan to call the headquarters which are in California later today to see if they can tell me how they plan to use that information to help deal with Covid; if the list appears in all their locations; and if staff are instructed not to serve a customer who won’t sign in. I’m going to guess that they have no clue about how they will use the information. I suspect it’s just virtue signaling since they are headquartered in CA.
The shame of it is that their cause is a good one. They are dedicated to serving members of the service and related organizations. A hint to their “woke” approach appears on their website:
In 2018 we rebranded Green Beans Coffee and re-dedicated ourselves to being a forward-thinking Millennial-relevant food & beverage concessionaire willing to take chances. That forward thinking shows in our striking, modern “Elevated Kiosk” under construction now in SFO’s Terminal 3, and our store in the International Terminal.
I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.
A cup of coffee can be pretty darned expensive, in more ways than one.Published in